Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April flowers (bluebonnets on 1st in Texas)

30 Apr, Wed:  We are not ready to roll today.  Ron is feeling weller; maybe early morning we shall begin the journey to the promised land(s) of North Texas, Illinois, Washington, D.C., W. VA, and Philadelphia.  The deadline is the Archives Committee meeting 15 May.   Off to run errands and finish packing before we create more recycling requiring a U-haul.  Bummer!  Steven and Samantha's grandfather was removed from life support; the funeral for both grandparents will be Saturday in Cleveland, Mo.  Cynthia's daughter-in-law is devastated.  I can only imagine the devastation of the 20 year old who broad-sided them causing two fatalities.  Lives changed forever.

29 Apr,  Tues:  We are not ready  to roll today.  Ron is weller, but he is not weller enough  to depart; nor is he healthy enough to visit our 97 year old genealogy cousin in Denton, TX.  Jon and Ron successfully jumped the old Beemer the first time; it died once en route to the storage unit but Jon jumped it again and success ensued.  The bike is parked for time and perpetuity in the walk-in-closet without the gas tank.  Progress is processing what remains to be done after the next monumental job was completed; we hauled half a house in the back seat of the SUV to the recycling center in Spring, TX.  Ron was beaming because they took all of his treasures, even the thousands of tiny slips of shiny paper 1/4"X1/4"!   I shoulda called Mayflower to haul the recycling.  After such success we dined on cedar plank salmon at Pappadeaux.  Ron found a delightful surprise on the patio: the magnolia tree is pregnant  with big buds ready to burst into bloom.  The bluebonnets are phenomenal this year.  Wish we had stopped to take photos between Houston and Austin last week.   We hope to leave late afternoon and spend the night in College Station so we can see Eric before we leave.

28 Apr, Mon: We are not ready to roll today.  Ron reluctantly agreed to see the ENT as an excuse to eat breakfast at the Toasted Yolk but the reason he gave to the doctor's nurse (on the chart) "Wife dragged me in  here."  The nurse checked his temp (97 ) and Cynthia insisted she re-check (almost 100).  The ENT said it is allergies; Cynthia said it is a bacterial infection and then the DR. said it is a bacterial infection.  They both agreed he should be on antibiotics; the Dr. gave Ron a steroid injection in the butt that had almost an immediate impact, OUCH!  RX phoned into the pharmacy we took the opportunity to look at the microfilm of Herndon Haralson's Diary we had ordered from NC and found nothing new to report.   It was simply too convenient to pass the opportunity to have another meal at the  Toasted Yolk for lunch.  Cynthia moved the remainder of the clothing and the other thirty thousand cute shoes to the storage unit, organized it all with an inventory in the computer.   Ron is improving by the  hour.

Here is a link to the bishop's blog: http://bishopmike.com Scroll down to last Thursday to see video and photos.
Dr. Jay Alanis, Cynthia, Dr. Elizabeth Stein

Dr. Jay Alanis, Cynthia


Rebecca, Brenda (rear), Carla, Ron, Cynthia, Jon

Committee, Dr. Evelyn Streng, Cynthia, Dr. E. Stein





















Cynthia's grandchildren (Steven and Samantha) lost their maternal grandmother in a car accident Saturday morning near Kansas City.  Their maternal grandfather is in serious condition and sedated in a hospital near Cleveland, MO.  They have been very close to those grandparents since the loss of their dad (Cynthia's son) when they were toddlers.

27 Apr, Sunday: Cynthia delivered another version of her "Lords Prayer" sermon at Grace Lutheran before we said our good-byes there.  She was very amused when one  of the parishioners asked if she could try to be more expressive.   She cannot talk without hands flying hither and yon.   It was a very good day followed by brunch at the Yacht Club to say good-byes there as well.   A nap seemed to help Ron's elevated temperature and sore throat making it possible to tear into our packing to depart process.  The foyer was filled with plastic storage containers, clothing and thousands of cute shoes.  Maybe ten thousand.

26 Apr:  Only two days until scheduled departure.  We may not actually get out of town on schedule, but we should be only a motorcycle away.  (The R75/5, with its dead battery, needs to be moved into storage.)  Today we need to pack bags for the motorcycle, take recycling to Magnolia, and Cynthia has a sermon to prepare.

25 Apr:  6AM in Montgomery Texas and Cynthia is to be awakened to leave for mammogram before long. Long is past.  Ultrasound and diagnostic mammogram had perfect results.  50,000 bluebirds are singing the Halllelujah Chorus, but Ron is only able to croak along with his sore throat.  After a busy day that included digging up yet another busted sprinkler head (this one hidden 4" deep underground) and assembly of two shelving units in the storage locker, aka walk-in closet (pictures taken), Cynthia filled the bread machine with raw ingredients, and we drove to Perry's in Cypress for an excellent dinner with Roxanne, Julie, and Jon.  Fine food, good conversation, and a fun time was had by all.  Julie was astonished that her mother had received a standing ovation from 100 pastors the day before.

24 Apr:  The Rev. Cynthia wowed them with her after dinner speech.  The assembled pastors gave her a standing ovation.  The beautiful day ended with a sour note as Ron finally succumbed to the sore throat that has plagued Cynthia for a month.
Distinguished Alumna 2014 Award


23 Apr:  This was a beautiful spring day for a drive to Austin; the wildflowers were wonderful with fields of bluebonnets and others of orange Indian paintbrush and still more with yellow flowers.

 22 Apr:  Ron started printing the 772 pages of Vol. 6 to be mailed to a proofreader and ran out of ink.  Good grief, $20 for 170 pages is awfully expensive compared to the last printers he used that had ribbons.

21 Apr:  Eureka!  Vol. 6 is newly updated on DropBox.  Soon after getting outta bed and straightening up the house, we drove to Jim's Hardware (fast becoming a favorite store) to find a fitting for the sprinkler riser.  Peculiar to be given the same part that I first bought and exchanged, thinking that the threads were a different pitch.  We had discussed breakfasting at the Toasted Yolk, so decided to stay with that idea, since it is our new favorite.  Then we stopped at Home Depot to exchange vacuum cleaner brush and at Kroger to exchange Glucosamine/Chondroitin and at Wally World for two additional shelving units which we deposited at the walk-in closet.  Afternoon Ron vacuumed while Cynthia received manicure & pedicure.  Then the Dirt Devil was disassembled to find that it had no suction because the filter was already clogged after a cleaning not long ago.  After another trip to Jim's hunting for the vacuum filter, we ate salmon at Phil's and returned home to find cool weather, ideal for weed pulling.  Now it is dark, so Ron inserted TOC and index and posted the new Vol. 6 to DropBox.

Apr 20, Sunday:  HAPPY EASTER!  Montgomery, Texas.  Another early start, 4 AM, answering e-mails and updating this blog before resuming work on James Lea.  Pastor Jim H. had a terrific sermon at Grace Lutheran's 8:30 service; from there we boogied to brunch at the Yacht Club with Bill and Merry at 10:30. The ice sculptures were marvelous.
Easter Basket Ice Sculpture
Then I'm guessing that another root is calling for me to dig it up and saw it out before the sprinkler can be fixed.  Surprise, no root, although the riser broke in the same place.  That quick discovery left time for a haircut and nails cuts.

Caddy Shack View
Apr 19:  I still haven't found the James Lea grants, so more looking at photos of documents this morning.  Sunrise is spectacular, and photos should be forthcoming.  Cynthia is feeling better this morning.  I worry about my SmoochSmooch.   AWW!  She is better.  Swine Bronchitis!  After breakfast omelets at the Caddy Shack brunch, Ron spent most of the day washing dishes and dirty recyclables.
Walden Yacht Club Dinner
 Jon and Barbara joined us for dinner and wonderfully pleasant conversation at the Yacht Club.  That second broken sprinkler was twenty feet away from where the water came to the surface.


Apr 18:  Ron is again up and at it at 4:30 AM.   We have a million photos of documents about James Lea.  Home improvement projects are winding down, so I can get back to the basic three: James Lea, Vol. 6 of Swedish Church records, and recording notes.  Endless weeding is always available to provide a productive break outside.  Next home improvement project just might be regrouting floors - after fixing the broken irrigation sprinkler.  Cynthia spent the entire day feeling puny and miserable.  Ron got lots done: cooked omelets, dug to huge root that broke sprinkler, watched movers haul filing cabinet to storage locker, bought shorter screws and a push saw and a sprinkler fitting at Jim's, sawed "teeth" to install shelf across clothes pole in back of storage locker (the 10' board was 1" too long and the walls are corrugated vertically, so these teeth lock the shelf and clothes pole in place), sawed through that root (1" diameter is huge) to discover that the fitting I bought is not the one I need, trimmed the broken piece to re-install the sprinkler head and turned the water on briefly only to see it pouring out of another break, pulled weeds for a while, and finally took a shower before bed.

Apr 17:  Poor Cynthia has had another miserably sick day.  As soon as she arrived home from Somerville yesterday a bacterial infection made her nauseous.  Today she drove to her audiologist to have her hearing aids adjusted and to an ENT for medications.  Dinner at the Caddy Shack stayed down and after tossing and turning quite a while, she finally fell fast asleep.  Ron was busy this morning at 5 AM scrubbing the last few square feet of floors with brush to remove the dirt from grout lines.  There was quite the flurry of final cleaning as Jon prepared for the open house.  Report is that everyone was wowed by the place, as usual.  Ron was delighted to ride the motorcycle Magnolia to the recycling center and delighted to visit with Merry over breakfast at that Magnolia Diner.  Unfortunately the omelet was very oily; obviously the cook didn't pay any attention to the order that the omelet was to look dry.  At 2 PM Ron rode the motorcycle back to the hardware store in Montgomery for screws to install the clothing pole in the walk-in closet at the storage locker.  One more measurement is needed, the distance from the wall.  The heavy duty shelving from WallyWorld needed no tools; everything snapped together.  Cynthia arrived, and we placed plastic storage tubs onto the shelving and discovered that there is going to be lots of room.  Dinner at the Caddy Shack and quickly to bed by 8:30.

Cousin Greg in Bluebonnet Country

Apr 16:  Another 5 AM start to the day in Montgomery, Texas.  Only 12 more days to pack & organize before we are leaving together on the motorcycle northward and eastward.  James Lea has again resumed primary early morning priority.  The hydrangeas from the wedding still smell marvelous although they droop and shrivel.  After breakfast at the Magnolia Diner, Cynthia and Gregory drove to Somerville, TX for a delightful day meeting his octogenarian biological birth grandmother.  The rest of the family welcomed him heartily as nephew.  The blue bonnets are at peak!!

Apr 15: Ron is scrubbing the limestone kitchen floor spotless; the dandelions jumped out of our lawn and into the neighbors lawn when his footsteps approached; the walk-in closet is absolutely spacious.  Thank you Smooch!  After straightening the house, our morning started with another trip to Toasted Yolk en route to Home Depot to buy more boards, attachments for the upright vacuum (Cynthia misses the built-in vacuum at the ranch!) and various and sundry items that make a techie content now that re-cycling is nearly finished.  Today was cool and dry, so we walked our usual route in two hours.  Cousin Gregory is due from New Jersey momentarily to visit his birth grandmother for the first time.  Greg's father was adopted in DesMoines, Iowa in 1946 and passed away from MS in 2005.  Iowa unsealed the adoption records and Cynthia found the birth mother now 87 living 1.5 hours from Montgomery, TX.  The birth mom later had three daughters and is elated to learn about the son adopted at birth.  My favorite stories are, "I was lost, but now I am found." We walked 4.5 miles. Gorgeous day.

Apr 14:  Good grief, where does the time go?  We are still in Montgomery, Texas.  Cynthia and Ron are busy packing and preparing a 10'x15' storage locker to become her new walk-in closet.  Last message from me was prior to the wedding when I expected to be miserably uncomfortable in the dress shoes, but they were not that bad after all.  Since then Ron has had one melt-down (imagine that) from which he is mostly recovered.  This morning is so steamy humid outside that the wall of windows is covered with condensation.  Keeping them clean is not a problem; spotless is another story.  Today's mission is to install the free-standing 10' clothing pole across the back of the locker.  More storage tubs were delivered to the storage unit before breakfast at I-Hop.  The local hardware store did not have the 1x12 nor any other size that works for us. The temperature dropped 15 degrees in two hours with thunderstorms ready to begin in 17 minutes.  This is a good day for quiet time.  Cynthia has already packed another four tubs for the storage locker.  Since we still need that 1"x12"x10' board, we have an excuse to breakfast at the Toasted Yolk again tomorrow morning.  It has turned stormy with rumbles of thunder and whitecaps on the lake.

Apr 13, Sunday:  Why does church service begin so early?  We hafta get outta bed by 7 AM to arrive on time.  Retirees should be able to enjoy snoozing later than that.  Breakfast brunch at the Yacht Club was again delightful.  The omelet chef provided the same hot sauce as last week.  This time Ron spread it over two omelets, and it was perfect.  After complaining about the early start, I now remember getting up at 4 AM and wasting those three hours processing recycling.  We attempted a walk, but turned around because of the rain and drove to Phil's Roadhouse for an early dinner.  Ron continues his quest to pull every weed out of the lawn, roots and all.  Only a few dandelions remain, mostly in hiding (or as roots underground).

12 Apr:  In order to have an excuse to breakfast at the Toasted Yolk again, we opted to pick up the lumber needed for Cynthia's walk-in closet clothing poles, three pieces of lumber sawed to length, 2"x12"x7'.   The hole saw worked perfectly, but it took a couple of hours to drill (imperfectly) five holes through the 2" wood because the bit needed to be cleaned often so that the small drill wouldn't become overheated.  Ron again enjoyed "digging in the dirt" and pulling dandelions.

April 9, Wed:  How can it be that we are so close to May's departure to Philadelphia?   Morning chores took us to the storage unit to get measurements for lumber followed by breakfast at  the Toasted Yolk;  Cynthia was amazed when the gramma of a new four-day-old baby girl let Cynthia hold the baby.  The gramma is a waitress in the TY.  Wonderful, but what are today's parents thinking of taking  new borns into public places like restaurants????    Home Depot had the 10 foot clothes rods and more large plastic totes.  Ron picked dandelions out of the yard for an hour.

April 8:  Have we mentioned we like the Toasted Yolk????  The house was cleaned for buyers (where are they???) before we departed for breakfast,  but we quickly returned home because the A/C repair folks were arriving to replace the coil on the upstairs A/C.  Our to-do list shrunk: we rented a storage unit, bought plastic containers and shelving, etc.  We also bought Blue Bell non-fat yogurt with 19 gm sugar.  It tastes a lot like ice cream.   The 4.5 mile walk to the fitness center was a necessity on this lovely, but windy, day.  Four deer played near-by before bouncing off into the woods when a noisy pick up truck appeared.  Bluebonnets are blooming.  Tired.  Good night.

April 7 Mon: Carol and Rich had a super send-off breakfast at the Toasted Yolk.  We returned the tux (whew!) by two PM  before we boogied over to the Montgomery County Library to view two reels of the Herndon Haralson diary.  It was of interest but hard to read, so we need to find dates of events we wish to confirm, like deaths and marriages and births.  Eyestrain prompted us to leave early and inspiration prompted us to dine at the Toasted Yolk for our "evening" meal.  Computer projects were re-deployed, but with the new caveat that the house must always be presentable to prospective buyers, especially when we go somewhere.
Water Fowl Flotilla 

April 6th:  Ron awakened "very sad" from his emotional evening but was able to carry on despite the sadness.  We enjoyed Sunday brunch at the Walden Yacht Club with Carol and Rich; Samantha joined us to celebrate her birthday; dinner that evening was fabulous, as usual, at Pappadeaux.  We were exhausted from our previous night, so were happy to enjoy our very necessary sleep.

Apr 5th:  Carol, Rich, Ron and Cynthia walked to brunch at the Caddy Shack.  Sasha, Cynthia's Houston hairdresser, drove to the lake to get Cynthia and Carol gussied up;  Ron and Rich declined to have their three hairs styled.  The wedding was elegant; granddaughter Rachel, the bride, was beautiful.   A good time was had by all the survivors.  Carol and Cynthia's mothers were two of three sisters descending from several generations of females.  Hence, a photo of any gathered descendants is called Miller Time.  The wedding was quite a
Rachel and Ryan
success, but later that evening Ron suffered from an "emotional depression" that disturbed our sleep until the wee hours.


Jon and Rachel

The Smooch Smooches

Carol, Rich and Cynthia

Lauren, Rachel and Jon
Ryan's nieces

Bridesmaid, Bridesmaid and Lauren




Eight Bridesmaids
Cynthia's Dress for Rachel's Wedding
Apr 4:  Ron dragged out of bed early again, unable to sleep.  Thank goodness that the house is cool again since the air conditioner was fixed yesterday.  A tiny leak had let nearly all the freon escape, so it is now welded closed, and that expensive weld is guaranteed, but there is still a coil leaking upstairs that must be replaced Tuesday.  Fortunately that one is still under Carrier warrantee, so will cost us absolutely nothing.  Time for Volume 6 briefly on this Mac, then back to James Lea photograph search.  Carol and Rich arrived about noon from Denver for the wedding.  We rode to the Caddy Shack for lunch while Ron decided to walk; he and Carol walked home.  The rehearsal dinner was good and thanks to the mother of the groom we had baked fish with seconds.  She was very sweet.  While we were at the rehearsal dinner the rest of Cynthia's family gathered for a dinner at the Grotto in the Woodlands.

Apr 3th: Cynthia is taking a Girl Day while Ron is taking a Ron day.  Usually a Ron day means  Ron Recycle Day.  Great success, Cynthia is happily manicured, pedicured, and all else-a-cured.  Recycling is all cleaned and organized and, most importantly, hidden from sight.  Most of everything lying in piles has been picked up and hidden, so we are mostly prepared for company and prospective buyers.  Thanks to Smooch for editing my speech.

Apr 2th:  Awake at 4 AM, up at 4:30, coffee at 4:45, never ending recycling chores, and Ron is again at work on James Lea.  Now that the Intro, Analysis and Conclusion are reorganized and work smythed, it is time to look at millions of photographs of documents searching for source citations.  Thank God for Picasa.  Our 4.5 mile hike was completed with nary a drop of rain despite the foreboding dark green blob bouncing around on color radar.  Two deer had us in their sights en route to the fitness center; on the return,  we stopped for grilled Tilapia and a Spinach salad at the Caddy Shack;  someone asked Ron if the MIT on his shirt meant he voted for Mitt.

Smooch Smooch Amidst Azaleas
April 1:  Indeedy didy do, bluebonnets and azaleas all over everywhere.  Cynthia loves her flowers.  We hiked the second day in a row on the Lone Star Trail in the Sam Houston Nat'l Forest nearby and rode the motorcycle to get there again (10 miles) and ate afterwards at Phil's Roadhouse again.  The day started off with an excursion to the land of dis-comfort to try on Tux and shoes preparatory to intense suffering on Saturday while actually wearing them for more than a minute's fitting.

Red Cardinal


Deer in Sight


Deer in Flight
Lone Star Trails
Lone Star Trails
Lone Star Trail


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